The transport service plan is based on the premise that the West Metro would start operating at the beginning of the summer timetable season, on 19 June 2017. If the schedule is not met, bus routes in South Espoo, Lauttasaari and Kirkkonummi will continue to run as in winter 2016-2017.
The plan was available for comments online for one month 14 December 2016–10 January 2017, and HSL received 190 comments on the plan.
“The opening of the West Metro and the related big changes to bus services are the most significant changes to transport services this year, and we will focus our efforts in carrying out these changes,” says the Director of HSL’s Public Transport Department Tero Anttila.
Other big changes include new tram services in downtown Helsinki and the reorganization of North-East Helsinki bus routes.
“The smooth implementation of these changes is high in our priorities,” continues Anttila.
Increased traffic volumes in the central city the reason behind the reorganization of tram routes
The new tram network will be launched on 14 August 2017. Trams 1, 2, 3, 7 and 7 will be rerouted.
Tram 1 will run from Eira to Käpylä via Fredrikinkatu, Bulevardi, Lasipalatsi, Runeberginkatu, Sörnäinen and Mäkelänkatu. The tram will start to run also on weekends.
Tram 2 will start to run to Länsi-Pasila, while tram 3 will start to run to Kuusitie later in autumn 2017, once the Reijolankatu tracks have been completed. Until then, the tram will run to the Töölö depot.
The current trams 7A and 7B will be replaced by tram 7 running from the West Terminal via the Central Railway Station along the route of trams 7A and 7B from the Senate Square to Sörnäinen and Pasila. In Pasila, the tram will terminate in Länsi-Pasila due to the construction works at Pasila station.
Tram 9 will be rerouted to run to Jätkäsaari along the new tracks on Välimerenkatu. Tram 7 will be the main public transport link to the West Terminal.
The tram network has remained relatively unchanged for the past decades but as the traffic volumes in central Helsinki increase and new areas are constructed, tram services must be adapted to the changing travel needs.
There will be more changes in the coming years, as new areas and new tracks are built.
The Executive Board of HSL approved the tram network plan in February 2015.
Major changes to bus routes in North-East Helsinki, minor changes elsewhere
The new North-East Helsinki bus network will be launched on 14 August 2017 as outlined in the bus network plan. The current bus network was designed some 20 years ago and it no longer meets people’s travel needs in the best way possible. Moreover, the Ring Rail Line and trunk route 560 opened in 2015 have significantly changed transport in North-East Helsinki, providing new transport links. The new network aims to provide good transport links within North-East Helsinki as well as to the city center.
In central Helsinki, bus 17 will be rerouted to replace the withdrawn section of route of trams 1 and 1A. The night bus route 18N will be extended from Eira to Hernesaari from 19 June 2017. The route 23N will be extended from Rautatientori to Jätkäsaari at the beginning of the autumn timetable season.
In other parts of Helsinki, changes will take place particularly in areas with high growth over the past years: routes 37 and 39N will be extended from Malminkartano to Honkasuo in autumn. In addition, HSL prepares to extend route 89 form Yliskylä, Laajasalo to Gunillankallio.
“Residents of Laajasalo have expressed their concern for the sufficiency of bus services in the rapidly growing areas of Gunillankallio and Kruunuvuorenranta. During the spring, we will study in more detail the changes needed in Laajasalo in the coming years,” says Anttila.
In Vantaa, route 561 will be extended from Aviapolis to Helsinki Airport. In addition, a new shuttle service 601 (Airport-Aviapolis station-Jumbo) will start to run daily from 4am to 1am. The businesses in the area will participate in the operating costs of the service.
In Espoo, there will be only minor changes. No major changes are planned to bus services in Kirkkonummi, Kerava and Sipoo.
On train services, carriages will be added to the most crowded services. In addition, the operating hours of E trains will be extended: the train will run longer on Saturday evenings and start to run on Sundays.
On the Suomenlinna ferry services, HSL prepares to increase services on summer and autumn weekends. Last autumn, the ferries were very crowded on weekends.
What is a transport service plan?
The annual transport service plan includes the key route and service level changes to be made. The annual plan is valid from the beginning of the coming summer timetable season to the end of the winter timetable season in the following year.
HSL has prepared the plan in cooperation with public transport experts of the municipalities, representatives of school authorities and operators. Residents have been able to participate by commenting on the plans online. The Executive Board of HSL approves the transport service plan. The changes in costs incurred by the plan are based on the financial and operational plan approved by the HSL General Meeting.
Changes taking place in 2017 in a nutshell:
- New tram network in Helsinki (14 August)
- New bus network for North-East (14 August)
- In Vantaa, route 561 is extended from Aviapolis to Helsinki Airport and the new shuttle bus 601 starts operating in the Aviapolis area (14 August)
- When the Metro services start to run between Ruoholahti and Matinkylä, bus routes changes in South Espoo, Lauttasaari and Kirkkonummi.